Human Spaceflight

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE): New Mission, Longstanding Questions

Nearly 40 years have passed since the last Apollo missions investigated the mysteries of the lunar atmosphere and the question of levitated lunar dust. The most important questions remain: what is the composition, structure and variability of the tenuous lunar exosphere? What are its origins, transport mechanisms, and loss processes? Is lofted lunar dust the cause of the horizon glow observed by the Surveyor missions and Apollo astronauts? How does such levitated dust arise and move, what is its density, and what is its ultimate fate?

NASA's Flexible Path Architecture Study for Human Missions

NASA supported the "Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans" (HSF) Committee during the Summer of 2009 by performing a study and analysis of a novel Flexible Path concept. The Flexible Path architecture for human spaceflight calls for incrementally more aggressive human missions out into the inner solar system. Exploration of the Moon, Lagrange points, Near Earth Objects, leading to the exploration of the Martian moons. All of these missions would have broad technical and scientific merit as precursors to the future exploration of the Mars surface. Dr.

From Earth to the Stars: Psychological Issues during Space Missions

Recent studies on-orbit have provided information on important psychological and interpersonal issues that affect crewmembers and mission control personnel who are involved with near-Earth space missions. However, the extreme distances, communication delays, and increased crewmember autonomy that will characterize missions to Mars and beyond will introduce additional psychosocial stressors never before experienced.

Starship Life Support

 Dr. Jones will report on the design and cost of a starship, with emphasis on life support systems. He will describe a multigenerational interstellar voyage to colonize a new planet. Nuclear propulsion is required. The mission is more feasible if a small crew travels slowly and lands with minimal equipment. Growing food is about as expensive as taking dehydrated food. Highly reliable life support can be achieved by providing spare parts and full systems.

How do You Qualify Heat Shields on Earth? Plasma Reentry Wind Tunnel Research at NASA Ames

Protecting spacecraft from severe heating during hypersonic flight is a challenging task that leaves no room for error. Likewise it is difficult to simulate on the ground the effects of flying at Mach numbers greater than 20. But that is what the NASA Ames arc jet facility does for designers of human spacecraft and robotic probes. It requires directing multi-megawatts of electrical power inside a tube less than 3 inches diameter containing hundreds of water cooled parts. All of that to perform a test on piece of heat shield material that you can hold in your hand.

How to speak to your computer - Spoken Dialogue Systems on the ISS and beyond

Science fiction is clear that our future includes conversations with our machines; think of HAL or the Star Trek computer. In 2005, the Clarissa Procedure Assistant made a step toward that future, when its use on the ISS made it the first spoken dialogue system in space. Dr. Beth Ann Hockey, project lead for Clarissa, will describe the science and technology behind that system, and examine uses of this technology in space and on earth, interacting with robots, wheelchairs, cars and software. Dr.

Field Testing of Utility Robots for Lunar Surface Operations

Since 2004, NASA has been working to return to the Moon. In contrast to the Apollo missions, two key objectives of the current exploration program are to establish surface infrastructure and an outpost. Achieving these objectives will enable long-duration stays and long-distance exploration of the Moon. To do this, robotic systems will be needed to perform tasks which cannot, or should not, be performed by crew alone.

How Spaceflight Was Born

Lally was involved with the space program from the beginning in the United States starting in 1955, before Sputnik. Eugene worked with key people from Peenemunde and JPL and contributed many pioneering concepts when he was referred to as a Rocket Scientist. Eugene was considered a driving technical force and helped promote spaceflight through many papers delivered at American Rocket Society conventions. Eugene will discuss his personal story of the people and ideas (he worked with) that bought spaceflight out of the cradle and into reality.

People and Automation: Implications for Long Duration Lunar and Planetary Exploration

Future long duration lunar and planetary missions will require that astronauts leverage automated systems to a far greater extent than has ever been experienced. Dr. Jessica Marquez will outline the latest research on automated mobility systems that future astronauts will need and potential pitfalls that may be encountered if too much automation is used.

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